Secret Garden By JP McLaughlin

JP McLaughlin is amongst my favorite artists and has in the past featured heavily amongst my inspirations alongside two others from Scotland. Far from being a traditional Scottish artist, he is a well known and respected global artist with a distinct and easily recognizable style.

Secret garden by JP McLaughlin

Secret garden by JP McLaughlin

The latest of his work titled Secret Garden is a prime example of his more commercially oriented work. The beautifully styled and instantly recognized Red Coat series is an ongoing feature of his work. Secret Garden has the hallmarks of serenity that has become synonymous of these paintings.

A stormy, cloudy sky is broken up with the immediately visible woman in the red coat, in this case, modeled by Debbie Campbell a prolific performer and fundraiser in her own right (as well as the owner of this particular painting). There is a sense of chaos and calm, a contrasting idea that somehow works as we look at her contemplative stance and without seeing her face we know on sight that she is deep in thought, what she is contemplating is open to interpretation.

The casual air of the woman in the Red Coat belies the darkness of the surroundings giving it a softness and a sense that she is relaxed in her contemplation, leaning casually against a wall, she is the epitome of casual elegance and grace in the tumultuous surroundings, a sort of stark reminder that the individual that stands out is the one who speaks softly but carries a big stick, or in this case, wears a brazen shade of red .

The Secret Garden is a nod to the grounds of Hansel Village and gives a touch of the personal to the piece that adds a new depth to the story overall.

The beauty of this piece (aside from the woman in the Red Coat) is the simplicity of the message as per my own interpretation, it speaks to softness in the dark and contemplation in the whirling chaos of the mind. As a piece from the Red Coat series of images, this captures the eye and the mind in a way that makes you want to know her story and as I have seen first hand, opens a discussion on her motives. Cleverly structured JP McLaughlin has offered the art world another conversation starter.

To learn more about JP McLaughlin or to purchase artwork see:

JP McLaughlin Website

JP McLaughlin Facebook

The Advantage of Digital Media with HOD TV

HOD TV is a service that I find myself fully behind, as a huge fan of horror and thriller and with plans to create work around this in 2020, this is something I can see being a positive move and the team have made huge strides in a short time giving the market something fresh (and a little dark) that will change how we view indie film. From a (lost) creative stance this is a perfect avenue for us to explore.

Part of this will be taking our partner concept of The Lost Creatives forward and setting things in motion with our other partners (more on this soon). Our primary focus will be on horror and thriller projects for commercial sale.

There is something about being scared that really appeals to people and the team behind HOD TV really tapped into this with a kind of glee and business savvy that I can appreciate and it has opened my eyes to the potential of being a part of the film industry again this time on my own terms as a filmmaker and makeup artist. Moving forward we are not just looking at the potential of this market for ourselves but for our fellow artists and creators.

To learn more about the HOD TV service as a filmmaker click here.

If you're interested in learning more about the HOD TV concept as a film aficionado then see:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hodtvHT/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hodtvht/

HODTV: https://hodtv.net/

A New Chapter is Being Written With The Lost Creatives

A New Chapter is Being Written With The Lost Creatives site being built and new work in development for the film and Internet TV sector. We love the direction that The Lost Project is taking as we become a go to for beauty writing with a series of PR agents across the UK and USA coming to the table looking for additional support.

the lost creatives

Over the month of September we will be shooting new content for both sites and making sure that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

It is really exciting to be moving in this direction and we have already got our main social accounts up and running:

The Lost Creatives Facebook.

The Lost Creatives Instagram.

The Lost Creatives Twitter.

With a whole new set of goals and plans in motion it is a really exciting time and we do have the support of our various oversea’s contacts (including writers, distributors and actors) who are eager to be a part of the momentum we are creating and are ready to support us. Which is hugely gratifying.

To stay up to date with all the news and updates see our social accounts listed above.

Alfa Italia’s Tropea Pro Styler

There is something so about Ala Italia hair tools that makes you feel like you are buying not just the elegance and Italian style of the product but the whole professional realm that they embody so well from their consumer tools to the professional range they offer.

Alfa Italia’s Tropea Pro Styler

Alfa Italia’s Tropea Pro Styler

The new Alfa Italia Tropea Pro Styler, With three interchangeable barrels this new styler is a perfect addition to a weekend bag or a compact dressing table, offering maximum style and impact with minimal fuss. Ideally suited to travel (or as a gift for a beauty enthusiast) there is something special about the Alfa Italia styling tools range that is more than professional, it is a lifestyle. Looking closely at the styler we see the same professional elements we would expect in a salon down scaled and ready to use at home with the added benefits that only Alfa Italia can offer with style and grace that says Italy:

  • Titanium Barrels - fast becoming a go to option for professional stylists, this material offers superior heat conductivity and an ultra-smooth surface that makes for silky, shiny curls.

  • • MCH heater - emits far-infrared heat that instantly penetrates the cortex of the hair cuticle, heating from the inside outwards. The hair is heated evenly and in half the time of conventional heat, reducing the risk of damage.

  • Lightweight - titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any material used in professional styling tools.

  • Easy to use - the digital heat control interface allows for precise setting and monitoring of temperature from 121oc up to 232oc for consistently effective results. And auto shutoff means no more worrying if you’ve switched it off when you leave the house!

  • • Protect your digits - heat-resistant 3-fingered glove gives flexibility and more precise curling - without burning your fingers.

  • Agile - an easy grip, 9 foot 360° swivel cord made of heat-proof, up to 232oC, rubber and a professional

  • hook makes using and storing this tool super easy.

  • Dual Voltage 110–240 V – perfect for international travel.

  • 1-Year Alfa Italia Warranty - for extra protection and peace of mind.

To learn more about the Alfa Italia Range see:

Alfa Italia Website

Alfa Italia Instagram

Alfa Italia Facebook

Oh My Lash Tray Launch

oh my lash trays

Something my private clients rave about is the fact I use Oh My lash faux mink lashes and how beautiful they are when working beauty makeup. So when I found out that they were launching the lash trays I was absolutely intrigued and as always with this line I was not disappointed.

These synthetic lashes are set to be a new classic for the bridal and beauty sector especially those who want to be able to offer lash services and with clients who just want a little touch added these are perfect.

With the C curl and D curl lashes they are beautifully structured and add a touch of elegance to a look I can see this being a big seller for the lash technicians out there who want something with a strong ethical background and cost effective for their clients.

Oh My Lash, since its beginning has been about bringing a quality product to the market and as a makeup artist myself, I fully endorse the range and will definitely be adding more soon.

Its a strange thing, whenever I do a private client I end up using one set and having the client fawn over the other options (and giving them an extra pair), this addition of the lash trays will be a massive boost for my working kit, and I will be able to offer more lash treatments to my clients alongside their glamorous sister lashes which are already a staple of my work outside the fashion and media sector.

A perfect addition to any dressing table or a working artist kit, from the bridal sector to fashion and media, Oh My Lash is a perfect add on to your work and the new lash trays are the icing on the cake to what is an amazing British brand.

To learn more about Oh My Lash see:

Oh My Lash Website

Oh My Lash Instagram

Oh My Lash Facebook

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny MBE

Leighton Denny (MBE) is the ultimate beauty success story, his international reputation for nails has brought him and the nail industry into the mainstream in a way that is beyond comprehension and owes a lot to his humble roots and overall demeanour.

Going from being a fork life driver to founding the multi million pound beauty and nail expert shows the grit and determination of a man who’s talents go above and beyond that of a nail tech into the realms of business giant. From the award winning crystal nail file and fragrance (sold worldwide to a point where it could fill an Olympic swimming pool), Leighton has become the go to guru for all things beauty.

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny MBE

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny MBE

With four key areas of his business, it is no surprise to see that the LD boutique range is a global phenomenon. Starting with the nail varnishes through to the self tanning range it is a company that has sent beauty over the edge and created its own standard and a benchmark for the art form.

"Leighton Denny Expert Nails is where it all began, and we still have the same award-winning polish formula that we launched in 2005. It's stood the test of time! From hand creams and cuticle oils to gel polishes and pedicure sets LDEN will always deliver. My iconic Crystal Nail File has won its 15th industry award and is the key to a salon finish."

"Sun Believable is a 'no gimmicks' tanning range that's moisturising, kind to the skin and delivers a healthy looking, multi-dimensional, long lasting tan. And there's something for everyone! From the antioxidant instant tan BRONZE Me (£16/200ml), to the deep, overnight tanning mousse TAN Me (£25/300ml) to the natural tan accelerator ACCELERATE Me(£20/200ml)."

"Lip Dual (£12.50) allows you to create a matte, natural, bold or sheer lip colour, all with one product. The dual ended lip system holds a rich and luxurious lipstick at one end and a magnetic-like lip "stain" on the other so you can stain it, layer it, tone it up or tone it down and wear your colour your way, every day!"

"There are four unique and intoxicating fragrances in my LIGHT & DARK- two female (Original and Delightful) and two unisex (Lively and Desire) fragrances, you can find a perfect scent for your mood. I designed each LIGHT & DARK fragrance, so they blend seamlessly with each other, so you can wear alone for an intriguing scent or layered together for your own personal fragrance cocktail. My LIGHT & DARK Discovery Collection (£38) is the perfect way to test and trial the collection and create your signature scent."

A company to watch, the Leighton Denny range is growing in the beauty market and as a household name is second to none in its innovations and standards.

To learn more about the range see:

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny Website

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny Instagram

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny Twitter

Madame La La Bronzing Ball

The Madam La La Bronzing Ball is a quirky little product with a lot of punch. Designed to work with a wide range of skin tones it is the kind of quick fix that is a must have multi purpose product that will change your makeup and tanning game.

On first inspection we see a small pot with a clear lid revealing a warm, golden toned cream that is aesthetically pleasing. Taking off the lid we are greeted with the light perfume of coconut, strong enough to be noticed but not overpowering it does make you think tropical climes which given the tanning properties is an appropriate and welcome touch that makes the Bronzing Ball a definite must for fast and easy tanning with a touch of the tropics.

Madame La La Bronzing Ball

Madame La La Bronzing Ball

“Bronzing Ball is a 180°colour cosmetics twist-up cream bronzer for a precise glide on instant bronze – no makeup brushes needed! Bronzing Ball achieves an easy year round bronzed glow in effortless strokes – one shade suits all. Infused with Vitamin E & Coco Water hydrating properties the luminous and glimmering shade with a 180° dome applicator is easy to use for bronzing, contouring and highlighting the cheeks, lips and eyes.”

Testing the product is easy, the ball shape allows you to swipe the colour directly onto the skin with ease and it blends smoothly creating a warm even tan where applied. Minimal fuss and maximum impact when you build the colour up through layering.

*This would be a great addition to a working kit for fashion artists or anyone in the wedding sector.

From a media artist perspective this is a great little item to slip into a working kit for shoots where a touch of bronze is required or you are working TV/film/fashion projects it can be a major plus for the continuity side, quickly touching up a tan on a shoot or sculpting a models face with a few swipes of this beautiful cream verses heavy powders or ashy creams, adding depth and warmth to the face without hassle. A welcome addition to the beauty world the company deserves plaudits and applause for their innovative beauty and tanning line.

To learn more about the brand or the full range of products see:

Madame La La Website

Madame La La Instagram

Madame La La Facebook

Madame La La Twitter

Ariane Pool Makeup Through the Seasons

Ariane Pool has over the course of her 40 plus year career has become a leading light in the professional sector and was part of a handful of artists who changed the face of makeup and has given both consumers and professionals in the business a range of cosmetics that has become synonymous with celebrities and bridal. An in demand makeup artist herself and known for her calm, collected approach to cosmetics especially when dealing with the white glove service of weddings Ariane Pool is an artist and cosmetics creator who has become a household name for good reason.

One of the keys to this is her ability to work with the clients and create what has been termed the transitional collection. As the weather is so often changeable and undecided (especially in the UK) she decided to give us a set of key components that will make your beauty life that little bit simpler.

Ariane Pool Concealer Palette

Ariane Pool Concealer Palette

Starting with the concealer palette, The creamy formula is soft enough to work underneath the eyes but dries down to demi-matte finish, concealing blemishes and high colouring beautifully. A must have for your beauty space or kit as it allows you to customise your look as and when you require with the minimum of hassle.

Ariane Pool Waterproof Lash Coat

Ariane Pool Waterproof Lash Coat

Waterproofing your lashes is a must regardless of the time of year and this clever innovation of the transparent topper will transform any mascara into a waterproof formula that can withstand water, rain, sweat and tears. Simply sweep over your normal mascara, for lashes that won't budge.

And finally, the blush and bronze With a pigmented sheer blush on one side and a satin golden bronze on the other, this duo allows you to sculpt, contour, highlight and blush, all at once. Use the blusher alone for a fresh summer flush, mix the two together for a warmer autumnal shade or use the bronzer alone to sculpt and contour your complexion.

Ariane Pool Blush and Bronze Duo

Ariane Pool Blush and Bronze Duo

Taking your makeup to the next level with smart placement and transitional products that will see you throughout the year without hassle, Ariane Pool is the artist to look to for smart makeup. To learn more about the range see:

Ariane Pool Website

Ariane Pool Instagram

Ariane Pool Facebook

Ariane Pool YouTube

Ariane Pool Twitter

Base of Sweden Goes International

I know we would not normally do this but the news was to good not to share as Base of Sweden goes international, thats correct the company who’s innovative foundation and cleanser is making waves in Europe is now available for international delivery through their website.

Designed to be professional friendly, the foundation and remover has become a media sensation in its native Sweden and captured the attention of artists across the board with fans both industry and consumer praising its formulation and company ethos.

“The Base is not like other foundations and therefore it does not feel like other foundations. It is moist on your skin all day long and lasts up to 72 hours. It is also waterproof, which allows you to wash your face, swim and exercise in it without it coming off. Once it does come off, the Base fades away gradually rather than falls off.”

An absolute game changer this foundation is perfect for all aspects of the makeup artist kit from the media and theatre where longevity, sweat proof and waterproof is a must to the bridal sector where demand for long stay makeup that doesn’t clog the skin is chief amongst the coveted and sought after solutions for brides and the wedding party. Stepping to the plate with this range was a bold move and it is one that is receiving notice with Base of Sweden Already garnering industry innovation awards for foundation alongside the press and blogger accolades it deserves.

To learn more about the range or to purchase see:

Base of Sweden Website

Base of Sweden Instagram

Base of Sweden Facebook

*The YouTube channel for Base of Sweden is a must see and save for the savvy artist who wants to learn.

Summer in a Bottle with Beauty Made in Italy

Do you want to travel without leaving the comfort of your own home? Well your in luck, the team at Beauty made in Italy have come up trumps with some of the most beautiful scents that will transport you to the Italian Riviera without the need for a passport. The latest collection of fragrance has all the hallmarks we have come to expect from Italian style and will bring out your inner traveller.

Acca Kappa Tilia Cordata

Acca Kappa's Tilia Cordata Parfum is a floral citrus fragrance with notes of bergamot, lemon and jasmine that will instantly transport you to Italy's Mediterranean valleys and Venetian gardens. Available at accakappa.us. Retail price: $88.

Mediterraneo Eau de Parfum

Carthusia's best selling fragrance, Mediterraneo is THE quintessential scent of summer. Blending the freshness of lemon leaves with sparkling tones of green tea, Mediterraneo is Capri in a bottle! Available at bigelowchemists.com. Retail price: $80.

jusbox cheeky smile

Inspired by late nights and discotheque, Jusbox's new fragrance Cheeky Smile will keep you dancing until sunrise. The bottle is finished in a special varnish that appears light grey in daylight and turns into a vibrant, acid-green color when seen under ultraviolet light. Retail price: $210. Available at 10 Corso Como NYC and jusboxperfumes.com.

proraso cologne wipes

Proraso offers men an innovative and convenient way to wear fragrance on-the-go with their Azur Lime Refreshing Cologne Wipes. The single-use sachets are the ideal finishing touch, offering freshness anytime, anywhere with a fresh citrus, energetic mint and juniper scent. Available at bigelowchemists.com. Retail price: $10 for pack of six wipes.

'Beauty Made in Italy' is a program launched by the Italian Government to promote the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian beauty brands to the US market.

Shining Boy BB Cream

Shining boy is a brand I found by sheer chance and it falls into that category of quirky and outwith my norm for male grooming but this does not detract from the company in any shape or form. While many say that makeup is universal there is still a degree of stigma attached to men buying makeup that they are working to take away with their quirky concepts.

shining boy makeup.jpg

For those taking their first steps into the world of makeup as a boy/man or just looking for something that will be quick, simple and easy to use then a BB cream is generally a good starting point. With the Shining boy BB cream, its targeted specifically at men and boys with a view to making clean skin a quicker process and creates a gateway to experimentation with the wider range of their cosmetics (in particular the eye shadow palettes).

The silver tone of the packaging and overall feel is standard and would not look out of place in a gym bag as it resembles a moisturiser or a post shave balm. The actual product has all the hallmarks of a premium BB cream (BB standing for Beauty balm) in that it offers an all encompassing product with skincare, concealer and light coverage that will in essence give the skin a fresh, rested look. Available in two shades of light and wheatish (medium/tan). Like many BB creams it is still advisable to use a powder to set although it is relatively long wearing depending on your own skin type and texture. The ingredients overall do have all the qualities I would expect and the added bonus of being waterproof making it an ideal addition to a summer regime.

The rest of the shining boy range is more about fun and experimentation with vibrant colour palettes and a more whimsical sense of playfulness but it is the BB cream that does stand out in the range from a grooming perspective as its designed to be easy to use and stands as a reminder that grooming (in the social media age) is an important factor for the well dressed gent or artistically minded soul who wants to be seen in the best possible light.

To learn more about the company see:

Shining Boy Website

Shining Boy Instagram

Shining Boy Facebook

*A quick google search on the Shining Boy brand is enlightening and offers an interesting perspective on the range but in all honesty it doesn’t detract from the company for me it just allows a little insight into the company and the nearest competitors in terms of look and ingredients (not to mention pricing)

Explaining the Lost Boys

The Lost Boys as a concept has a dark heart, its a patchwork of different aspects from the darker side of the Peter Pan story to the current social and political atmosphere where we see people such as Milo Yiannopoulos who has talked openly about the disenfranchisement of young men over the last decade.

Abandoned spaces (image for illustrative purposes only)

Abandoned spaces (image for illustrative purposes only)

Melding these elements together The Lost Boys became a sort of tongue in cheek reference to the way men are viewed and takes some of the “boy who never grew up” stories and expand on them with a touch of the grunge movement, American Gothic and the subversion of masculinity.

The images themselves will be built around derelict buildings, waste ground and a fractured symbolism of nature. Each model will have his own story that will hint at both the inspiration of Pans Lost Boys to the more dystopic visuals of the backdrop to fit with the “council estate boys" look of the models.

Additionally, to the clean makeup looks I have planned, there will be integration (slowly) of character makeup elements such as scarring and bruising to add depth to the characters to give a level of the cinematic and a harsher reality of the concept.

I am going to add extra kit soon and will release details on what goes into a lost shoot in terms of gear from the camera equipment to the makeup and brushes used which in-itself will be released as a blog or blogs.

While I appreciate this is a personal project it will be used to promote the Lost Project and give a voice to a different side of my own commercial/media background in makeup design taking a little of the narrative described above into projects that are currently being scripted with a view to building a stable of work.

The Lost Narrative Defined

I have written a few blogs over the last week or so that while I stand by the commentary I did feel it was ott and dramatic and deserved to be pulled so if anyone is wondering why its simple. I do stand by it but just decided that its not worth the hassle and I want to focus my energies on better things. While this may seem like an admission of guilt its far, far from it. Call me a primadonna if you wish, I really don’t mind. I want to clarify a few small points and clear the air before I start my run at defining what the Lost Boys and Lost Girls story is as a narrative and visual concept, it has a little touch of darkness to it and has been brewing in my head for a long time.

same shit different day

In addition to this as a means to move forward I spoke to one of my scriptwriters and will be sitting this weekend sketching, going through old designs and knuckling down to do the creative and commercial work I have been promising myself I would get done. Calls will be made to those who have shown loyalty and I am going to reinvest not only in my own business again but in the work I have been postponing to support others.

This does not mean I will not be available for clients, far from it, what it does mean is that priority goes to my own work and I will be extremely selective who I work with from this point on.

While the sentiment may be same shit different day, it won’t be my groundhog day and I can see a way to end the current narrative. The problems are no longer mine and I can finally put this to bed and give myself the opportunity to showcase my own skills.

Watch this space, The Lost Stories (combined with Behind the Brushes) is coming back with some fantastic narratives and beauty launches thanks mainly to my connections to various PR agencies which will allow me to give a little time to clearing the cobwebs creatively and finally doing justice to the Lost Girls and the Lost Boys concept that I have on paper created giving it a more visual sense of what its all about.

Travel Essentials with Beauty Made in Italy

Another smart and innovative range from the Beauty Made in Italy team sees them tackle travel with a range of products ideal for your summer travels.

travel with beauty made in italy

Beauty Made in Italy' gives us a peek inside their travel bag for the ultimate I-Beauty essentials! Get inspired for your Summer getaway with these 'can’t-leave-home-without' products from Ripar, Carthusia, Marvis and Proraso! 'Beauty Made in Italy' is a program launched by the Italian Government to promote the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian beauty brands and products to the US consumer. 

A lightweight, long lasting foundation is an absolute must-have for weekend trips. Try Ripar's RiparCover Cream for full coverage foundation that's gentle on the skin and fragrance free. Available in 24 shades, RiparCover Cream completely hides the appearance of blemishes and rosacea and even covers tattoos flawlessly without transferring or fading. RiparCover Cream is sweat and water resistant so it will last all day long, even during the hottest summer temps! Retail price: $28 for small case. Available at ripar.us.

For an instant refresh try Carthusia's Capri Forget Me Not Travel Atomizer. With notes of green fig, orange peel and mandarin, this juicy and illuminating scent echoes the sensuality of the jet-set island. Perfect for vacation and last minute adventures, this rechargeable travel atomizer comes with three 8ml spray refills of Carthusia's Capri Forget Me Not Eau de Parfum. Retail price: $108. Available at bigelowchemists.com.

Keep your smile bright all summer long with Marvis' Travel with Flavor set containing three Marvis classics in 1.3oz travel sizes: Classic Strong Mint, Whitening Mint and Cinnamon Mint. Known for their delicious, innovative and contemporary toothpaste flavors, Marvis' Travel with Flavor is the ultimate travel campion for all of your destinations. Retail price: $15. Available at bigelowchemists.com.

'On-the-go' touch ups are easy with Proraso's Travel Shave Kit. Packed with all of the essentials for a smooth shave, this kit fits effortlessly in your carry on. Developed for any beard type, all of Proraso's products are free of parabens, silicone’s, mineral oils and artificial colors. Retail price: $15. Available at bigelowchemists.com.

To learn more about Beauty made in Italy click here.